James Jones column: Don’t take the Internet for granted

Published 9:57 am Monday, February 19, 2024

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According to historians, Jan. 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet. At that time, a new communications protocol was established called Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol (TCP/IP).

My introduction to the internet came in 1995, when I saw stories displayed on a digital platform, which intrigued me. After we made a deadline to release the print edition, I stayed after hours to learn more about the internet. 

While the digital platform was the farthest thing from my mind at that time, I learned more about the internet each day. People thought I was weird for trying to get to know the internet better. No one is laughing now. 

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We are two decades into the digital world with diverse platforms, including Facebook, ESPN, Twitter and a host of others. Some of us pay our monthly bills on the internet. Others chat with their family and friends. I do a little bit of both. 

As time passed, I grew heavily dependent on the internet. If being on the internet is an addiction like alcohol and drugs, I am an internet junkie, busted and guilty as charged. I will not deny that. 

I can not and will not go without the internet for an hour, unless I am traveling out of town. Even then, one of the first things I do after checking into a place is to connect to the internet. 

I am going through a big test this week. I am not able to use the internet at home because someone from another country is trying to hack into my computer system. Hacking and identity theft are two big crimes associated with the internet.

I am frustrated and aggravated at not being able to use the internet at home. When one wakes up to the internet or goes to sleep with it, and internet access has become part of your daily routine for nearly 30 years, then you do not have it,, that becomes a problem. 

The optimistic person in me believes the situation will be handled eventually. Waiting for a solution at the moment is no fun at all.